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Railhub Archive
1998-06-08 OPR-001


Increased service frequencies complement West Coast upgrade deal

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Increased service frequencies complement West Coast upgrade deal

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8 June 1998
source OPRAF
type Press release

John O'Brien, the Franchising Director, today welcomed the go ahead for the West Coast Main Line (WCML) upgrade, which is being taken forward by Virgin Rail as a condition of their franchise agreement with OPRAF.

The upgrade will bring faster and more frequent services between London, and the principal cities linked by the WCML, whilst also protecting local services and freight.

By the time the project is successfully completed in 2005, the number of services operated by Virgin Rail will almost double.

Journey times between London and Birmingham, Glasgow, Liverpool and Manchester will also be substantially reduced.

London - Manchester journey times will be less than two hours and London - Glasgow, under four hours.

In addition to commitments originally negotiated by the Franchising Director at the time the franchise was let, Virgin has agreed to:

· Provide four services an hour to Birmingham.

· Double the minimum number of daily services it operates between London and Glasgow to ten.

· Introduce a new London to Edinburgh service via the WCML, comprising of up to five trains a day.

· Milton Keynes, Rugby and Nuneaton will therefore have a direct service.

· In 2004, introduce new high speed diesel tilting trains, a minimum of six a day, between North Wales and London to double the current frequency.

Welcoming today's announcement, John O 'Brien said: "Today's upgrade approval is another important landmark in achieving a step change in the quality of West Coast long distance services.

I am delighted with the additional benefits I have secured for passengers.

"The deal represents a significant contribution towards achieving the objective I have been set by Government, to achieve a progressive improvement in passenger services and an increase in the number of passengers by rail.

I am also pleased that the interests of freight and other users of the route are being protected, and that substantial new benefits have been secured for the West Midlands, North Wales, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Railhub Archive ::: 1998-06-08 OPR-001


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